Congressman hints at funding cuts if UCI won’t address anti-Semitism

A US representative has added his voice to those demanding that the University of California, Irvine address a pattern of anti-Semitism following the recent takeover of an event hosted by Students Supporting Israel.

[RELATED: Muslim students disrupt pro-Israel event at UCI]

“It is important that the University of California enforces Title VI and prevents anti-Semitism, not only because it is the right thing to do, but because failure to do so could affect eligibility for federal funds,” Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) wrote in a letter to Chancellor Howard Gillman, hinting at the possibility of funding cuts. “This is especially necessary because there are those who claim that the most vicious and hateful anti-Semitic remarks are mere criticisms of the policies of the Israeli government.”

Sherman then praises the UC system’s recent passage of a statement condemning anti-Semitic forms of anti-Zionism, but calls on Gillman to take seriously the gravity of recent incidents of anti-Semitism on his campus.

[RELATED: UC Board of Regents unanimously condemns anti-Semitism]

“This was an important step towards combating anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination,” Sherman remarks in a press release obtained by Campus Reform. “However, the inability of Jewish and pro-Israel students to assemble peacefully to view an Israeli film is counter to the Principles Against Intolerance, section H,” which condemns “Actions that physically or otherwise interfere with the ability of an individual or group to assemble, speak, and share or hear the opinions of others.”

Moreover, Sherman points out that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act “requires universities to protect students from bigotry based on ‘race, color, or national origin,’ including anti-Semitism,” suggesting somewhat ominously that UCI would be well advised to enforce that law, “not only because it is the right thing to do, but because failure to do so could affect eligibility for federal funds.”

[RELATED: Jewish org’s help UCI deny pattern of anti-Semitism]

Finally, Sherman calls out Gillman, who stated in response to last month’s event that the school is determining “whether disciplinary or legal actions are appropriate.”

“Given the May events, it is clear that UCI has not yet enforced the Board of Regents’ ruling,” Sherman observes, asking Gillman to “please keep me apprised of the progress of the investigation and let me know whether you have determined to take disciplinary or legal actions.”

Campus Reform reached out to UCI to ask if Gillman plans to respond to Sherman's letter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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